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Colonel X

Image post processing using NVIDIA Freestyle.

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It just found out a few days ago that MSFS is fully compatible with NVIDIA Freestyle, which recently started offering the original Reshade filters. It's free, and NVIDIA Freestyle is already included and installed on your system once you enable the experimental features mode in GeForce Experience's settings. You only have to download the Reshade shader pack NVIDIA released. Bottom line, you get powerful post processing (at no performance cost) out of the box, no hacks, seamlessly integrated. I have used it a few days now, and coming from Reshade (X-Plane), this is a joy to use.

Here I am using a carefully arranged setup, slightly upping contrast and image temp., adding bloom, SMAA, a light vignette and chromatic aberration (fading at the edges). Additionally, I have created an (optional) CRT effect, which, along with the chromatic aberration and vignette, will break all shimmering/aliasing like Bane broke the Batman (look at the soft tree edges in shot #2) and offer a very smooth image (especially in the distance), offering a cinematic look that will enhance MSFS artistry considerably. Not everyone's taste, but I prefer a soft and stable image over a clean high res look (especially when TAA isn't good enough to deal with ALL the edges). With the CRT effect, due to the "screen door effect" rasterisation will hide some of the image weaknesses and give clouds a more natural look. Make sure to view the full images, coming straight out of the sim (KTPA) at 1080p. If anybody's interested, I can do a few comparison shots later today, or offer instructions on how to recreate this.

 

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

 

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4 hours ago, Colonel X said:

You only have to download the Reshade shader pack NVIDIA released. Bottom line, you get powerful post processing (at no performance cost) out of the box, no hacks, seamlessly integrated.

This looks good. I downloaded the Reshade pack a few days ago and I am experimenting with some of the different post-processing that can be applied. Good stuff in there. 

By they way, when I did download the pack, I am only seeing some of the Reshade filters in-game. Were you able to see all 67 or so that were in the pack?

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58 minutes ago, MikeT707 said:

 

This looks good. I downloaded the Reshade pack a few days ago and I am experimenting with some of the different post-processing that can be applied. Good stuff in there. 

By they way, when I did download the pack, I am only seeing some of the Reshade filters in-game. Were you able to see all 67 or so that were in the pack?

I remember downloading that same pack quite a while ago (dunno whether it has been updated or not) and I know for sure that some of the shaders inside DIDN'T appear in games. My guess is that only some of them have been modified to be compatible with Freestyle.

Imo Freestyle does an excellent job out of the box, the sharpening filter being almost a must for all games that are supported.

What I'm probably missing is SMAA, but I can't remember if this is one of the Reshade shaders that didn't show up.

Other than that and probably ambient lighting (ESSENTIAL in FSX, but it was hard on frames), I think that default Freestyle includes all the essential. 

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17 hours ago, MikeT707 said:

 

This looks good. I downloaded the Reshade pack a few days ago and I am experimenting with some of the different post-processing that can be applied. Good stuff in there. 

By they way, when I did download the pack, I am only seeing some of the Reshade filters in-game. Were you able to see all 67 or so that were in the pack?

There's two packs... the official release of Reshade, of which only a few shaders work in MSFS. If you get the curated release by NVIDIA however, a lot more shaders are available. Some are still MIA, such as Film Grain or Smartnoise (I want one of those!), but there's plenty.

 

16 hours ago, Lurk said:

Other than that and probably ambient lighting (ESSENTIAL in FSX, but it was hard on frames), I think that default Freestyle includes all the essential. 

Yeah, I replaced Bloom with Ambient Light, even better. Yes, it needs some GPU time. When running unlocked, as soon as I got to altitude and MSFS would push 40+ frames, my GPU load was 100% (as opposed to around 70% with no shaders).  I then locked my FPS to 30 (using NI, the X/2 -1 scanline trick), now GPU load is back to normal.

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Posted (edited)

Here's a few comparison shots (make sure to view unscaled full size and click through, the CRT effect looks bad when scaled).

Off:

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

On (not how the image fades at the borders in sharpness and brightness, lending some plasticity to the image):

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

Off:

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

On (note how the CRT filter makes the satellite imagery look more natural):

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

Off:

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

On (note how the Ambient Light intensifies the color of the sunlight):

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

Edited by Colonel X
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I would definitely be interested in seeing your settings for each of the filters used. Been using freestyle for a while but haven't been able to come even close to this effect!

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3 hours ago, OriginalGood said:

What's up with the horizontal bars?

They imitate CRT display’s scan lines. That particular filter tries to add other CRT-like effects, like color blending but I’ve much better overlays for MAME for example.

As an owner of several CRTs for my vintage computers and consoles, I could go to lengthy posts about the amazing properties of CRTs and how they were utilized back in the day, but this is wrong thread and forum for such things.

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6 hours ago, OriginalGood said:

What's up with the horizontal bars?

If you view them at 100% size, you'll see it's the CRT pattern.

 

5 hours ago, Bt103504 said:

I would definitely be interested in seeing your settings for each of the filters used. Been using freestyle for a while but haven't been able to come even close to this effect!

Yeah, unfortunately the Freestyle overlay is not captured by screenshots. From my mind, I am running these filters (order is important):

Vignette (25%)
Ambient Light (15 Strength, color adaptive)
CRT (Customized)
Colors (+15 Temp., +15 Saturation)
Brightness / Contrast (Highlights -80% to correct overexposed clouds)
Prism (Chromatic Aberration variant, 1.5 scale, 12px strength)
SMAA 

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2 hours ago, TheGrunt said:

They imitate CRT display’s scan lines. That particular filter tries to add other CRT-like effects, like color blending but I’ve much better overlays for MAME for example.

As an owner of several CRTs for my vintage computers and consoles, I could go to lengthy posts about the amazing properties of CRTs and how they were utilized back in the day, but this is wrong thread and forum for such things.

Yeah CRT filters are a thing of it's own. The one included using is highly customizable though.

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Here's another shot how reducing highlights corrects the overexposed sky/clouds.

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

 

And another comparison, see how the Ambient Lights colors the light - cold on the left, warm on the right. Also, you can see how the image fading at the edges (Vignette, Prism) makes the entire image more cinematic and "natural", meaning less "flat".

Off

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens


On

Microsoft%20Flight%20Simulator%20Screens

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Here's some more info from a post in the official forum about the integrated post processing:

From: https://forums.flightsimulator.com/t/heres-how-you-turn-off-post-processing-effects-chromatic-aberration-for-example/156237

 

Especially in the hangar I was really annoyed by the chromatic aberration you get around edges. That sliver of green and red that’s just really… unnecessary. These settings are sadly not found in the graphics settings menu, but you can find them in the config file. The file is located in the following path:

C:\Users(YOUR USERNAME)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft Flight Simulator\UserCfg.opt

You can get there easily by typing %appdata% in the start search bar.

Open UserCfg.opt with notepad.

Go to the bottom where it says.

{PostProcess
Enabled 1
EyeAdaptation 1
ColorGrading 1
Sharpen 1
Fringe 1
LensDistortion 0
Dirt 1
LensFlare 0
FilmGrain 1
Vignette 1
LensBlurMultiplier 1.000000
FringeMultiplier 1.000000
}

Set Fringe to 0.
Now your hangar planes will look much cleaner and less… cinematic.

Might as well set FilmGrain and Vignette to 0 while you are at it for a more clean look.

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The filter banding is distracting and, in my view, detracts from, not adds to, the otherwise immersive experience.


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